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A drunken man smashed a football-sized rock into the head of another drunken man Wednesday evening on the Near East Side, with the victim almost losing an ear in the attack.

It happened at about 6:30 p.m. on South Brearly Street near Williamson Street, Madison police said.

"The two men had been drinking together throughout much of Wednesday, when one decided to clock the other in the head with the rock," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

The 48-year-old victim was knocked out, then was taken to the hospital for treatment of facial injuries.

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The 31-year-old suspect fled the scene. Police have probable cause to arrest him for substantial battery.

"A witness, who gave first aid to the victim, said the rock attack was unprovoked," DeSpain said. "The witness said the two men appeared to be getting along fine until the attack took place."

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